The LibDem candidate fought the campaign on the …

Comment posted Louise Glen-Lee wins Oban North and Lorn by election by David Pollard.

The LibDem candidate fought the campaign on the issues facing local people in Oban North and Lorn.

Recent comments by David Pollard

  • ONE VOTE for democracy and the freedom to be different
    Yes, but that was in England, where she comes across as a nice, sensible person. In Scotland we know how her leadership of the SNP is leading to more and more centralisation and shifting money to the Central Belt at the expense of Argyll and Bute.
  • ONE VOTE for democracy and the freedom to be different
    It is clear from what the SNP say that they will ‘end austerity’ Watch Bloomberg TV to see just where that has brought Greece, and compare it with Ireland, Portugal and Spain, who have seen it through to the end and are now growing again. Ending austerity, means borrowing lots and lots of money at an increasing rate of interest. If the SNP were honest about ending child poverty, then they should be proposing increases in taxation of those of us who can afford it.
  • Economic case for more national parks in Scotland – obstructed by Scottish Government
    Graeme, you have a very fair point. Sometimes NP people think only of wildlife and the natural environment, but a National Park should have sustainability in all its forms;- social, economic and environmental, as its objective. If you contact Scottish Tourism, you will find ample evidence of the economic benefits of increased visitor numbers when an area is designated a national park, so much so that the NP authority has to limit expansion to prevent damage to the very area people have come to see.
  • Economic case for more national parks in Scotland – obstructed by Scottish Government
    There are local representatives on the Boards of the National Parks. A National Park Board should represent all who live and work in the park, and sometimes they have to make decisions which some people do not like. Its surprising that the population of Argyll and Bute which is reducing across the district, should also apply to LLNP. Perhaps someone can publish the figures on ForArgyll.
  • Out-of-control Salmond sidelines Sturgeon
    As Labour drops the shackles of English Labour, the SNP is taken over by someone who wants to rule Westminster. You could not make it up.

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41 Responses to The LibDem candidate fought the campaign on the …

  1. Given the electoral arithmetic in North Lorn I would say her seat is pretty safe (or at least one SNP councillor being returned from the ward is a safe bet – the multi-member ward system does mean that she could come in behind another SNP candidate). More the question is whether another SNP candidate will topple one (or more) of the three sitting independents.

    The real interest in yesterday’s election is the strong showing for the Tory candidate. Given the unpopularity of the UK government this seems a remarkable achievement. Of course the turn out wasn’t great and the sitting independents weren’t standing (obviously) so it is difficult to predict the effect of loyalty to individuals but I would hazard a guess that the most likely outcomes in May are 2 SNP, 1 Tory and one Independent. My side bet would be 1 SNP, 1 Tory and two independents.

    Equally interesting is the continuing poor showing for liberal democrat candidates (schools?).

    Of course, in Kintyre1′s alternative universe there will be a completely different result in May. I hope his fantasies bring him some pleasure through these dark winter months. His disillusionment won’t seem so bad when the sun is shining in May.

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  2. did not get any information about the lib dem candidate, didn;t even know that he or George Doyle was standing.
    Louise and Roy or their support crew did at least visit some people out with their own couple of miles. Roy, to his credit, seems to have got out and about quite a lot.
    Got a Gwyneth leaflet delivered very late on.
    Spotted Louise at a number of events over the last few weeks, seems like a little effort was justly rewarded.
    Hopefully she is strong enough to stand up for all her constituents in the weird world of ABC.

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  3. I have more relations than the poor Lib Dem got in votes . I must say he is a very nice man Congratulations Louise,also to all the candidates for a good fair By- Election. Thats the way it should be

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  4. Congratulations to Louise.
    My only disappointment is that although I like & respect Louise as a person & I am sure that she will make an excellent councillor , I don’t believe in an independent Scotland , so my vote went elsewhere. I actually think as a respected local individual , Louise would have gained more votes standing as an independent as I know a few of my neighbours who voted on the same basis.

    It is different with MPs & MSPs where the party is far more important than the individual and where you are essentially electing a party of government.

    I just wish more local councillors would just stand as independents without any party affiliation so we can judge them on their merits rather than be swayed by their politics & personal views , which we may well disagree with. It would also prevent the party block vote in local government which is unnecessary & undemocratic.

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  5. To Ben Miller
    It is little accident that independent run councils always crowd out the bottom places in any table on any measurement of efficiency or delivery of services.
    The peculair myth that independent councils and independent councillors do a better job for their electors is tenacious but plain wrong. Have a look at the the Audit Commission’s annual reports over the last couple of decades and digest the facts.
    Argyll and Bute has suffered badly managed decline for the best part of the almost thirty years I have been back in it and what historically was one of Scotland’s better councils now routinely scrapes along the bottom on most measurements. It is no accident that this has happened under a succession of aimless independent groupings. Next May it is important that a strong group with imagination and a progressive strategy, and most importantly, the discipline that being a coherent group gives it, is elected to replace what is probably Scotland’s most incompetent administration.

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  6. how can the snp see any positive in a 32% turnout. that aint democracy! also, the new cllr’s first public engagement at the oban fireworks was a disaster and has produced far more community engagement on facebook etc than those that turned out to vote!
    also read the p&j coverage and one of her priorities is to sort out oban common good fund…pft. Yet another that is focused on playing petty party politics rather than getting the hands dirty. the ex-journalist was slippery enough to have contacts share inside info on council management, we’ll wait and see if the cllr will deliver the change that her contacts need.
    best wishes for her 5mth term and lets hope we can mobilise some worthy independents (might consider it myself)

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      • ken – no need to come out the closet, no-one else has?

        i didnt know any of the recent candidates in my oban north ward as I don’t frequent seniors clubs or combie street. therefore, I didn’t have the opportunity to meet in person, or receive any communications from them. to be honest, why would I vote for someone that didn’t commit the time, effort or use a medium to engage with a % of the electorate?
        Is politics for the career politician, retired or part-time workers?

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        • To stand for any elected office you have to do so under your own name.Think about it.

          If you really intend to put your name forward you will need to get out more

          I may be a political anorak but I was well aware of the history of four of the five candidates that were standing in the ward as they are all involved in various aspects of community life within the ward. I received literature from four of the five through my letter box and knew how I could contact any of them directly if I so wished.

          I know that the successful candidate made a huge effort to reach the bulk of the electorate and made available various means of contact for those who were interested -mobile number, e-mail address, twitter and facebook contacts and website information.I have no doubt that the other candidates made similar efforts to canvass an extremely widespread urban and rural ward.

          The “fireworks fiasco” and the resultant publicity that you refer to has proved to be a remarkable bonus for Oban. The fault on the night was entirely due to a technical “blip” by a reputable and responsible company who specialise in pyrotechnics and they have offered as compensation to return to provide a free finale for the Oban Winter Fortnight. Oban wins out twice! Surely you can see that the glass if half full?

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          • yes understand I may need to go public but i can do that when I make the decision.
            interesting you recieved all the literature, emails, facebook, twitter etc. please share. im sure they covered the town but didnt really cover the rural areas well. they need to represent everyone (or the 32% that bothered or knew it was happening! ….some didnt get their papers)
            in fact, with regard to yourself, you must have been on the boundary for this silly ward split. is your town centre location, south or north?

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    • Inside info on Council management? You mean this Council has something to hide? Well I never!

      As for sorting out the common good it is probably worth highlighting that the Council, as all councils, actually have a duty to sort out their common good in order to comply with LASAAC guidance.

      Your point on the fireworks is fair though. I expect all elected members to be experts on pyrotechnics – where would society be without this being part of mandatory councillor training.

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    • The Oban common good fund has been run in an upright and balanced way for many many years, and is well managed. Voters will get fed up with local politicians attacking everything just for the hell of it. Leave that to the numpties at hollyrood(of all parties)

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          • Phil

            Out of interest what was the nature of your enquiry.

            It could well be that the Council are managing the common good satisfactorily to the extent that they money generated by the common good is reinvested in activities which are in accordance with the criteria set down (most Councils do comply with that) but are you confident that the Council are actually fully aware of all the assets which belong to the common good.

            It is the later that LASAAC guidance is pushing for. A complete and accurate common good asset register.

            I am not saying the Council haven’t carried out an exercise (which is no mean feat) or have an exercise in progress as I really don’t know. Just wondering if it is this you have enquired about.

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  7. for ben miller. as i understand it there is only one independent on the council. all the others elected as independents have joined one gang or another – some for financial reward. what has a person’s view on independence got to do with being a councillor? we genetically programmed labour die hards have to wake up to the fact that our party has lost touch and is suicidally pessimistic. perhaps to address councillor north argyll that’s why the SNP voters turned out to support local democracy when others didn’t. where was the labour candidate?

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  8. David McEwan Hill’s call for a “strong group” is the same argument used by the Nazis to promote themselves as Germany’s saviours .
    I was led to believe by the SNP and others that the introducion of proportional representation and multi member wards was to remove majority control of our councils and such a move would be to all our benefits .
    In my view the last thing Argyll & Bute needs is a sycophantic majority controling group running roughshod over the wishes of the majority of the electorate . Consider the treatment of Councillor Robb for daring to raise his voice to see what such a group would do for democratic debate and good decision making .

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    • Is this not a perfect example of the “vile innuendo” that Iain Gray was whinging about only last week and kintyre1 was endorsing?
      Proportional representation and multi member wards in local government and the Regional List top up are designed to better reflect the true wishes of the electorate but even those cannot distort the fact that unionist support is in serious disarray. At the May election the SNP won overall support to such an extent that even the system designed to stop them failed.

      As former Labour MP Jim Craigen wrote in the Co-op News in August 2011, “It was not supposed to be like this! When the Blair government set up the devolution ball rolling, the Additional Member System was intended to win other party support and prevent the SNP from ever having a majority.”

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  9. My sincere congratulations to Louise!
    Donald always regarded her as a woman of high integrity and one who was not at all afraid of hard work. He also described her as his friend!
    My thanks to Lynda Henderson (For Argyll) for her kind letter of sympathy to myself and my family on the day of the election.
    It was a very thoughtful act on that difficult day.

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  10. Louise won the most votes, so deserves her place as a councillor.I hope she fronts up with her own ideas, on what
    will help this area and not just follow party line.She will know better than most the garbage that goes on behind the scenes, so if she lets people know they will stick with her and appreciate what she is trying to do.

    On the low turnout, my own thoughts would be to try and have as many hustings, as possible, in every ward all over argyll, if legally possible from the turn of the year right up to election day. This will give everybody a good grilling on different issues and also to give candidates a fair hearing. I think it would stimulate interest especially among youger potential voters.

    I will be standing as a candidate for my local ward in Oban and I would love the chance to debate with the rest of the candidates and the public at these hustings. If they were spread over a longer time it would also enable us to go to the islands in my ward. This is not easy in an independents time or budget.

    Just some thoughts but really looking forward to the battle.

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    • Good point in regard to hustings being spread over a longer period. Not coming up with all the answers, but will give voters a limited understanding of the individuals.

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  11. Good luck Neil, we need someone like you in the council who will tell the truth which is more than I can say about the present administration who can’t even disclose a freedom of information request. However, there are new moves to have this information revealed. Can’t wait till May to get rid of the dead wood!

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  12. for dr doug – no twin, just another local with keen interest in equitable development & a deep frustration with indecisive cllr’s that have delivered only tit for tat and/or advanced personal crusades.
    my point about the fireworks is that younger voters, those not retired, are more passionate (& motivated to make feelings known) about basic seasonal events rather than the political sphere.
    This region has a rapidly increasing age profile and this is due to economic, environmental & social reasons. So….lets sort these matters to turn things around for what is the most prosperous area of A&B. Heaven knows how the folks of Dunoon, C’town and Bute feel, when they have more acute challenges to overcome.
    to support my point, it’s interesting that the fireworks fiasco made it to bbc scotland news this evening. no mention of oban common good fund, a cllr’s misuse of parking permit and travel expenses (snp cllr) or any other trivial matter the public has to suffer.

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  13. Fireworks are a lot more attractive on the TV than the Oban Common Good fund saga or indeed most of our councillors (Roddy obviously excepted).

    It is one of the positive outcomes of the schools closures debacle that a lot more people (of all ages) are taking an interest in what the Council is up to. I think people are belatedly waking up to the realisation that they have to be a lot more proactive in working towards a better Argyll and I hope that next year’s elections will be the start of a new opportunity for greater community engagement in the very important task of improving our milieu. Attracting really good people into the Council is difficult and there is a good reason why the ranks of councillors tend to be filled by the retired, political careerists and those with part time (or no) work.

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  14. I’m not aware of the good reasons?……financial, time, conflicts???? on a personal level, I would hope you would stand but understand your commitments. however, im confident you would sharpen the focus on the schools matter and support for businesses if you were closer to the machinations.

    totally agree with you but with regard to fireworks but I would love to see some fireworks or fire in the bely from some of our cllrs. all we’ve been subjected to is letters to oban time editors……come on get real!! lets not be Mr or Ms Nice and get on with the job in hand. local authoirty is a business responsible for the services we buy into! so lets ensure our cllrs are business like and have the necessary acumen & skills to deliver.

    Finally, I agree about cllr maccuish as I like him as a person but at times he’s guilty of style over substance and has made some public comments that I can’t stomach. (ie: how will my constituents in Dunbeg benefit from marine tourism – in public meeting about OBM)

    There is a degree of naievity and risk aversion with some of our cllrs when it comes to big decisions! ie: 5 yrs in post and things have gone back the way! we need cllrs to be strategic and think of the long-game. all to often they are bogged down in minutiae with a&bc staff and others rather than setting out the goals & actions required!

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    • Dear North Argyll
      I dont have any constituents in Dunbeg. Although Iwas born there many years ago. I represent the other ward and that does not include Dunbeg. What is wrong with a bit of style ,what other public comments can i help you with,that you could not stomach. You can give me a call on 01631 567142 to discuss if you like.

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      • fair cop, you maybe didnt say constituents but you did ask how residents of dunbeg would benefit? as a Cllr, all your comments are public. the snp and your own style is accustomed to manipulating the media to your benefit. but, not everyone is taken by this. over the last 6 mth, you’ve been in OT (maybe the front pages) raising issues about dog dirt, loss of parking attendants, oban common good chairmanship. at the same time, the snp decided to walk away from the big decisions such as the chord board following poor decision to not support obm. also 11th hour decision to back out of schools proposals. snp were ruling body for majority of the 4-5yrs term, so please tell us the improvements that have been made in this time?

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  15. Responding to North Argyll and his equally negative cypher from the other end of the constituency is a bit like firing at a target whose head is permanaently beneath the parapet.I am reluctant to debate with someone who is not prepared to reveal their identity but can assure him that I live well within the Ward and have done so throughout its changes since 1971 although I was born in North Argyll.

    The successful candidate and her supporters canvassed, postered and leafletted within the town and in Appin, Barcaldine, Benderloch, Bonawe, North Connel, Dunbeg, Bridge of OrchyDalmally,Taynuilt,Lochawe,Kimore,Kilmelford, Kilninver, Balvicar,Seil, Easdale Island, Ellanabeich and Luing. She also visited Lismore.
    Maybe North Argyll was out at the time but then how could we know?

    Contrary to popular belief, remuneration for council work, while improved on past times, is not over generous and for that reason can rarely be considered an alternative to full time employment.

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  16. for ken – I simply queried if you lived in Oban North. I had a look at the boundaries and wasn’t sure because it splits some of the town centre or residential areas within the town. thanks for offering the clarity but please don’t engage in debate with me if you have any issue. (I would be delighted to meet in person if you wish)
    The reason I’m so direct to yourself is that you are in a fortunate position to have access to the political comings n goings. well done!
    Unfortuantely, my home didn’t receive any documentation from the candidates and I live in one of the villages cited. (It is highly likely I was out working one of my jobs during the day/night but I do have a post box)
    In fact, as you mention remuneration, the average A&BC wage is lower than the salary for our hard-up Cllrs whom all seem to bicker over committee chairs etc. Why? earn more for themselves. So…..I’ll make no apology for expecting them to work for their money…..after all, we all have to pay for our local authority pension deficit.
    Moving forward, I’m not being negative for a number of reasons; 1. I have a different outlook as I’m from different generation and have different expectations, wants & desires 2. I’m not satified with the status quo or the quality or performance of some of our cllrs.
    I’m entitled to air this and happy to explain myself.
    Best wishes from Oban North environs

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